Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I speak French and Finnish

Another transfer is done. I can't believe it. This transfer seemed to fly by. It hasn't been the easiest time but I really can't believe that I've been here for six weeks already. We found out last night that Anz. X and I will both be staying here for another transfer.

Sunday we got to church and found out that a group of 23 people was coming. I wondered who they could be and why there were so many of them as we prepared to almost double our branch for the week. At about 8:45 cars started showing up. The people started getting out and before long I recognized French. It turned out that there was a bit of a family reunion going on nearby for a family from France. The Grandpa was Elder Patrich Boutoiue of the seventy. I anxiously wondered what we would do because no one here speaks French. Luckily most of them spoke English, which solved half of our problem. The only problem now was translating from Italian to English and the job fell to me because Anz. X, not being a native English speaker, can't really translate.

The first hour went terribly. I was taking full minutes of conversation and minimizing them into a sentence or two. Sometimes I even just resorted to making things up. It was so hard to listen and speak at the same time. Not to mention juggling two different languages. But, then in Sunday school things got better. I started getting into a rhythm and was doing much better. Then in sacrament meeting things got even better. I had been praying really hard and I know that I was helped. I can't say it was easy but the translating seemed to just come.

It was amazing to feel myself lifted to serve beyond my own capacity. I know I didn't translate perfectly, but it was still way better than I'm capable of doing on my own. It was also pretty amazing that I was translating from Italian to English and because of this all the French speakers and another tourist from Finland (go dad!) could understand Italian meetings.

Things haven't been easy here, but I have found so much satisfaction this week by being involved in such a great work.

I love you all.
Love Ben